BERLIN, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced she will seek re-election as the leader of one of the most powerful countries in Europe, despite expecting it to be an uphill battle.
Merkel is seeking her fourth term as chancellor amid a rise in popularity of right wing politicians in her own country and rising populism around the globe -- both of which raise questions that she says played a primary role in deciding to run again.
"I pondered a lot about it," Merkel told reporters Sunday. "The decision for a fourth term after 11 years is anything... [but] trivial, not for the country and not for the party, and I say it consciously also for me personally."
She said, however, that the plethora of new and old issues facing the world motivated her to want to try to help maintain stability in Germany, Europe and elsewhere.
"There is a lot of tension within the European Union given the euro crisis, the question of refugees and the decision of Great Britain to exit from the European Union," Merkel said. "The situation in the world is as such that it needs to sort itself out again with regard also to the United States and Russia."
Merkel's approval ratings have taken a hit in the past few years, most notably because of unrest and concern in Germany about hundreds of thousands of immigrants that have flowed through the country from the Middle East.
After last month's local elections, in which Merkel's party took a beating, and for which she took the blame, the chancellor said while it seems ridiculous to her, she understands the need for stability and the world -- let alone her own nation -- looking to her for it.
"I'm honored in a way, but also I think it's grotesque and absurd," Merkel said. "No human being on his own, even if there's a lot of experience, can manage to give the world a positive direction for everything, not even a German chancellor."